6. Yarn 2010
Yarn is the practice based output from a body of enquiry that looks at how new technologies can influence narrative theory and practice. The film uses the DVD medium to present scenes, voiceover and atmos sound at random, to create a kind of 1001 Nights endless narrative, whilst still retaining narrative coherence.
Other artists/theorists have investigated generative narrative, such as Lev Manevich in his Soft Cinema project, where scenes from a computer database can be displayed in time completely randomly, or according to a complex system of algorithms. Adam Chodzko’s Plan For A Spell used the random potential of the DVD, but Yarn is the first piece to use the DVD medium in this way to create an ever changing coherent narrative.
Yarn is inspired by the novel L’Emploi du Temps, about a young Frenchman who comes to a Northern English city called Bleston (written by French nouveau roman author Michel Butor who based it on his experience in Manchester).
I edited the 1950s footage from the North West Film Archive, wrote the unique computer script to generate the randomness, wrote the voiceover script (spoken by a realistic computer voice) which is in effect for many different versions of the film, and commissioned the sound design from noted sound designer Joakim Sundstrom. The whole becomes a kind of mechanical filmmaking machine.
Presented as an installation - Australian International Experimental Film Festival Melbourne 2010 and Manchester Art Gallery 2013. In addition the research questions about narrative thrown up by the piece also presented at three conferences, in particular at the key conference dealing with narrative in Cleveland Ohio (Narrative Society, A Million and One Nights, Generative Cinema and New Technologies) 2010.. Conference papers in Falmouth and Salford - 1001 nights. Generative narrative and new technologies (MECCSA Conference Salford 2011).